Rossi fighting fitness battle ahead of Mugello

Valentino Rossi

ROME- Seven-time Moto GP world champion, Valentino Rossi, is fighting a race against time in order to be fit for the 2017 Mugello GP, where Qualifying gets underway Saturday before the race on Sunday.

 The 38-year-old Italian sustained injuries to his abdomen and chest following an accident during a Motocross training session in preparation for the world championship race.

 Rossi was taken to a hospital in Rimini last Thursday after the incident at the Cross Club Cavallara and was later discharged Friday evening after being examined by the hospital’s medical team.

 However, in a report published by the Gazzetta dello Sport, Rossi has revealed that he is still in ‘severe’ pain.

 "Unfortunately I crashed while I was training on a motocross bike,” said the Italian.

 “The pain in the abdomen and chest is still severe. Fortunately my condition is still improving day-by-day and that makes me optimistic for the end of the week at more positively about the Mugello weekend.”

 “I want to be there whatever it takes and I am working hard to recover. It won’t be easy but I still have a few days to recover. If on Thursday I get the OK, I will take part in the practice session on Friday in order to truly understand my conditions.”

 “I will do my upmost to be there on Sunday, this is certain,” added Rossi.

 The medical checks will take place on Thursday at the circuit.

 Consequently, Rossi will not be taking part in the press conference before the start of the GP. Instead, another Italian racer Andrea Iannone will replace Rossi and join championship leader Maverick Viñales, Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso and Johann Zarco in speaking before the event.